Thursday, May 22, 2008

Tony Ulwick's "customer job innovation map" in May Harvard Business Review

Recent Shop Talk Podcast guest Tony Ulwick, with Strategyn colleague Lance Bettencourt, has written an article in this month's Harvard Business Review ("The Customer-Centered Innovation Map").

The article elaborates on some of the topics we talked about in the podcast, and on Clayton Christensen's thinking that a product or service is focused on improving how someone completes a particular job (i.e., Levitt's 1/4" hole). To that end, Ulwick and Bettencourt propose a universal structure for decomposing a job into eight discrete steps, each of which is candidate for innovation.

The authors take the position that a job (what the customer is trying to accomplish) is distinct from a process (how the job is currently done). Focusing on processes leads to tunnelvision and poor innovation, while a job focus opens up a broad terrain for innovation.

Related Posts:
Shop Talk Podcast #4: Tony Ulwick on What Customers Want

, , , ,